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Old 07-27-2020, 09:27 PM   #1
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Load Balance Without Toys

I recently bought a Coachmen Catalina 26TH toy hauler even though I don't have an ATV or motorbike to haul. I liked it more for the flexible, open space in the back - and the patio.


I pull with a 2013 Ram 1500 Hemi Crew Cab Short Box with a tow capacity of 10,000 pounds. I do have the Outdoorsman trim which has a bit stiffer rear shocks and LT tires. I noticed the tongue weight on this trailer was higher than some similar models at about 950 pounds. The dealer set me up with a Husky Center Line weight distribution hitch. I didn't have any issues pulling it on my one 500 mile trip so far. I can definitely tell it is back there but I didn't have any sway or anything remotely scary. This was the first time I've towed more than a utility trailer.



Without hauling a heavy toy, should I be putting the majority of my cargo at the back to balance some of that tongue weight? I had a 3500 watt generator, few cases of water, couple coolers of beverages, chairs, canopy, etc. I pretty much put the generator over the axle, coolers right behind it and the lighter stuff farther back. Does it really matter?


I'm a newbie so any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:25 AM   #2
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Simple answer yes, load heavy get in the garage. Typically toy haulers have a heavy hitch/pin weight when empty with the idea that the "toy" in the garage balances the load better. Best bet is take it to the scales and get actual weights of the truck axles and trailer. Then you know what loading alterations you need to operate safely and more comfortably.
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Old 07-30-2020, 02:40 PM   #3
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Be careful not to make it to "tail" heavy also. I put a golf cart and kids bikes in my garage. I had a loaded 125 qt cooler back there with all that and the extra couple hundred lbs made me slightly tail heavy and I noticed it a little. That cooler now goes somewhere else. Play with things a little and you'll figure out what works best for you.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Elev8torguy View Post
Be careful not to make it to "tail" heavy also. I put a golf cart and kids bikes in my garage. I had a loaded 125 qt cooler back there with all that and the extra couple hundred lbs made me slightly tail heavy and I noticed it a little. That cooler now goes somewhere else. Play with things a little and you'll figure out what works best for you.
Back to my comment above, weigh it and know for sure. I have my truck weight and empty trailer weight. I weighed the truck with just me, full fuel, hitch installed and nothing extraneous inside. The trailer was weighed the day I left the dealership with the dealer added items, steps change, slide awnings, batteries, propane, etc. I have physically weighed everything going in the trailer and it's written down and where it went. The garage has the tools and related gear. What I haven't installed and weighed yet is the motorcycle chock bike riding gear, and the bike installed. Haven't done that since I haven't taken a trip with the bike loaded yet.

Hopefully soon, as in September, I'll take off and first stop is the scales. I have a pretty good idea what to expect, but facts are important so the scale ticket will either confirm that or let me know where I need to move stuff. As Jack Webb said, "Just the facts ma'am"
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:51 AM   #5
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I agree with everything your saying. In a perfect world everyone has easy access to a cat scale. Some of us don't. The cat scale comes to me is in baltimore city. A lovely neighborhood called O'Donnell heights. Im not tracking my trailer through there just to get a weight when im not having any issues towing it.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:58 AM   #6
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I agree with everything your saying. In a perfect world everyone has easy access to a cat scale. Some of us don't. The cat scale comes to me is in baltimore city. A lovely neighborhood called O'Donnell heights. Im not tracking my trailer through there just to get a weight when im not having any issues towing it.
Sometimes there are other less official options. Moving company, rock and gravel, etc. Some states leave the scales on when a weigh station is closed. OR come to mind but I've never checked any in the south east.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:06 AM   #7
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We carried toys in our 5er but I also built a bunch of shelving we used when the toys were out. The shelves were our pantry.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:27 PM   #8
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I have the 29THS model. Tongue weight listed at 1230 lbs from the factory. With all my supplies in the garage needed for a 7 week trip and a 800 pound bike in the back, I ran across the scales at a 930 # tongue weight.

Yes, I did the proper 3 pass method. That much weight behind the axles can make a big difference in the way she tows. It is much better loaded than empty.
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